Manatee High School
|Manatee High School|
|902 33rd Street Court West
Bradenton, Florida, United States
|School district||Manatee County School District|
|Number of students||2,388 (2012)|
|Color(s)||Red, White and Blue
|Accreditation(s)||Southern Association, Florida Department of Education|
What is now Manatee High School has had at least four names over the years and has had several different grade configurations during that time.
What is now MHS began in 1897 as Braidentown High School in a building located on the northwest corner of 9th Avenue and 14th Street, West, where the city shuffleboard courts were later located. In 1912, a new high school building was built on the south side of Manatee Avenue west of 1st Street, just east of where the school district offices are now located. Sometime before 1915, students from Palmetto were added and the school became Manatee County High School for the first time. The 1915 MCHS football team gained fame for never losing a game as well as never being scored upon. Sometime in the 1920s MCHS became Bradenton High School (BHS) when Palmetto students once again had their own high school to attend.
In 1930, the Manatee Avenue building was closed and BHS was moved to the red brick building at 1000 32nd Street, West, which had been built in 1926 as the Biltmore Grade School, but had been closed after less than a year's use because of the collapse of the Florida Land Boom. This building is now called the Davis Building in memory of longtime principal, Paul F. Davis. In 1938 the old building on Manatee Avenue was opened as Bradenton Junior High School with grades 7 through 9.
In 1947, Florida adopted the present system of having a single school district for each county and as a result Palmetto High School was merged back into Bradenton High School and the school's name again became Manatee County High School, which required changes in many school traditions. The school colors became red, white and blue by taking red from Palmetto's "red and black" and blue from Bradenton's "blue and gold" and adding white. BHS's teams had been the Golden Wave, but that was replaced by the Hurricanes. Palmetto's year book had been the Palmetto Leaves, so the new one got the incongruous name of Manatee Leaves. The school newspaper became the Macohi.
1955 was another year of change for MCHS. The three junior high schools south of the Manatee River, Bradenton, Manatee and Oneco were consolidated into a brand new school, Walker Junior High School, which was built across 11th Avenue, West from the high school. Walker had state of the art music facilities which were used by MCHS's orchestra, chorus and band.
The MCHS graduating class of 1958 was the last one to have students from both sides of the river, since Palmetto High School had been phased back in beginning in 1956. During the summer of 1958. the school's name was shortened to the present Manatee High School to reflect the fact that it no longer drew students from the entire county. Student and public opinion was overwhelmingly in favor of keeping the name Manatee instead of reverting it to Bradenton High School.
Since 1958 many other changes have happened at Manatee High School, including:
- Integration when the school district ended racial segregation in all schools.
- The addition of the 9th grade when the school district converted its junior high schools (grades 7-9) into middle schools (grades 6-8).
- The Manatee Leaves became the Cane Echo.
- The annexation of the Walker school campus;
- The demolition of the old Walker Building and the old Science building on 9th Avenue.
- The completion of new buildings, such as the Science and Technology Building (1996).
- The demolition of the Davis Building due to age and condition (2009–2010)
- Completion of the New Davis Building (2011)
Manatee High School currently offers an academic curriculum known as the AP+ Program. In essence, this is simply an official title given to students who take a certain number of Advanced Placement courses. Manatee also offers a Dual-Enrollment program which arranges for its students to take courses at the local State College of Florida (formerly Manatee Community College). In 2006 and 2007, Manatee received a grade of D (on an A-F scale) in the Florida Department of Education rating of school quality. In 2008, Manatee was able to demonstrate statistical improvement, and was given a grade of A instead. In 2009, Manatee was demoted to B. In 2010, Manatee regained their A rating, becoming the highest rated high school in Manatee and Sarasota County.
With land area about one third the size of average high schools, stadium, practice field, and parking space is sparse. Hawkins Stadium is home to the hurricane football, soccer, and lacrosse teams. There is seating for about 7,000 and it is almost always filled during football games. A tradition that started in the '30s, Manatee seniors continue to graduate at the stadium. In 2001, the field was voted to be named after long-time football head coach, Joe Kinnan. A practice field for football and lacrosse is located directly behind the stadium. An additional field with a track surrounding it with a capacity for 600 is located next to the junior parking lots. This field is used by JROTC and the cross country and track teams at Manatee.
Over its long history, Manatee's buildings have change drastically. The most recent redesign was the demolition and reconstruction of the Davis Building. The original building was built in 1926 and served as Manatee High School's iconic facade until 2010, when the Manatee County School Board deemed a new building necessary. It was crucial for the new building to retain the historic six white columns and brick that served the community for 84 years. The building features a state-of-the-art auditorium, fully equipped music suite, 25 classrooms, and a large atrium in the main foyer. In 1997 a major redesign that included new classrooms, a science-technology building, gym, and administration building was constructed.
The Medical Academy
The goal of the Academy of Medical Arts and Sciences is to provide an overall education for students who select health-care as their career choice. The academy provides students with core health courses and to relate the area of health to the necessary academic skills within the curriculum, thereby making learning relevant to their chosen careers. Current enrollment consists of 285 students, grades 9-12. The academy was the first academy to be established in Florida has been a Nationally Certified Academy for the past two years. Students in this program are eligible to participate in Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA), a national student organization. HOSA’s two-fold mission is to promote career opportunities in the health care industry and to enhance the delivery of quality health care to all people. HOSA provides a unique program of leadership development, motivation, and recognition for students enrolled in health occupations educating programs. The shadowing program for all Medical Academy junior students is required once a quarter in their area of interest in the health care field. Internship opportunities include: athletic training, dental assisting, veterinary assisting, vision care assisting, radiology assisting, working with pharmacy technicians, assisting at long-term care facilities, PT/OT assisting, Manatee County EMS training, school health service aiding and helping at local physician offices.
Manatee High school offers an array of clubs for many types a person. Manatee offers: Academic Team, Anchor Club, Anime Anonymous, Art Club, Ballroom Dancing, BETA Club, Canes on the Run, CROP (College Reach-out Program), Diplomacy Club, Drama Club, Skills USA, FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes), FCCLA (Family, Career and Community Leaders of America), Foreign Language Club, Freshman Class Board, FBA (Future Builders of America), FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America), HOSA (Health Occupations Students of America), JROTC, Junior Class Board, Juniorette Club, Key Club, Mock Trial, Multimedia Club, Mu Alpha Theta, National Honor Society, Oceans Awareness Club, Peace Jam - A Social Justice Club, Physics Club, Rhetorics, Westboro Club School of Rock Guitar Club, Science National Honors Society, Senior Class Board, Sophomore Class Board, Students Athletic Trainers, Student Council, Technology Student Association, Z Club.
The name for the school newspaper is derived from the school's former name, Manatee County High School, using the first two letters from each word to create "Macohi". Currently in its 94th volume, the Macohi began as "The Oracle", while the yearbook was named the Macohi. In 1990, the paper was awarded a Silver Crown Newspaper (for high schools) by the Columbia Scholastic Press Association.
On Oct. 18, 2001, Manatee High Students James Brier and John Acosta confronted each other in a parking lot. James Brier was killed in the ensuing fight by multiple blows to the head. John Acosta was convicted of charges of manslaughter and sentenced to nine years in state prison. In the following investigation, it was uncovered that Interact Club, one of Manatee High's extracurricular public service groups, had carried through extensive hazing rituals on its initiates, including Brier. The source of the tension between Brier and Acosta was attributed to teasing which took place during the hazing. In face of a public outcry, Interact Club was shut down by the Manatee High administration.
In 1996, MHS had alumni in all 50 states, Washington, DC, Guam, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands and 22 foreign countries. Florida had the largest number of alumni followed by Georgia. Of the foreign countries, Canada with 18 alumni had the most followed by Australia with 9. Among notable alumni: Best-selling author Kathleen Flinn. Members of the indie/powerpop band We the Kings Travis Clark, Hunter Thomsen, Drew Thomsen and Danny Duncan. Pro Baseball Brian McRae, Lance Carter, Brian Tollberg, Former Nebraska Football players Tommie Frazier, Tyronne Williams. National radio personality Rick Dees. Marita Lane, model/actress, Class of 1974, most notably for the famous Nair commercial, "Who wears short shorts?". Conor O'Reilly is the congresswoman for Florida's 16th congressional district.
Manatee High School athletic teams have won 16 official state championships, according to the Florida High School Athletic Association (fhsaa.org). This total ranks second only to Lakeland High School among “old line” major high schools in the Tampa Bay area.
Official State championships: 1925 Baseball 1931 Baseball 1932 Baseball 1942 Baseball 1955 Boys Track (Class 2A, largest class) 1956 Boys Track (Class 2A, largest class) 1957 Boys Track (Class 2A, largest class) 1963 Baseball (Class 2A, largest class) 1983 Football (Class 4A, largest class) 1985 Football (Class 5A, largest class) 1985 Boys Tennis (Class 4A, largest class) 1989 Football (Class 5A, largest class) 1990 Boys Weightlifting (Class 4A, largest class) 1992 Football (Class 5A, largest class) 2011 Football (Class 7A, 2nd largest class) 2013 Competitive Cheerleading (Extra large division - Class 2A, largest class)
Football teams in the 1950s were coached by Wheeler Leeth, who was elected to the Florida High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame in 1992. One of his players, Roger Pettee, center-linebacker, was selected All-American by Parade Magazine in 1960. Current Hurricane coach Joe Kinnan, MHS class of 1963, has coached his teams to five football state football championships. The Hurricanes also were state runner-up in 1993, 2009 and 2012, and reached the state semi-finals in 1987, 1990, 1994, 2005 and 2006. His teams were ranked in the final USA Today Football polls in 1983 (number 16), 1989 (number 10), 1992 (number 22), 2011 (number 8), and 2012 (number 18). State championships in Boys Tennis and Boys Weightlifting have also been won during his tenure as MHS athletic director. Kinnan was elected to the Florida Athletic Coaches Association (FACA) Hall of Fame in 1999. The FHSAA also designated him as one of the top 12 Florida High School Football Coaches of the century in 2007. Two of his players were selected to the USA Today HS Football team, First Team: Tommie Frazier, quarterback (1990) and Rob Stevenson, punter (1994). Frazier was also selected All-American by Parade Magazine. Two Hurricanes were also selected among the top 100 High School Football players of the Century by the FHSAA: Tommie Frazier, quarterback, and Henry Lawrence, lineman. The Canes were led to the 1993 champsionship game by current USF head coach Willie Taggart.
- Hurricanes with Super Bowl Rings
- Bill Anderson, Green Bay Packers, Super Bowl I
- Henry Lawrence, LA/Oakland Raiders, Super Bowl XI, Super Bowl XV, Super Bowl XVIII
- Alvoid Mays, Washington Redskins, Super Bowl XXVI
- Tyrone Williams, Green Bay Packers, Super Bowl XXXI
- Hurricanes who were starters on College National Championship teams.
- 1983: Mike Moore, offensive lineman, national champion Miami Hurricanes
- 1993: Patrick McNeil, offensive lineman, national champion Florida State Seminoles
- 1994 & 1995: Tommie Frazier, quarterback, national champion Nebraska Cornhuskers, Tyrone Williams, defensive back, national champion Nebraska Cornhuskers
- 1996: Rob Stevenson, punter, national champion Florida Gators
- 1997: Shevin Wiggins, wingback, national champion Nebraska Cornhuskers
- 1998: Bernard Gooden, offensive lineman, national champion Tennessee Volunteers
According to the Green Bay Packers official website, Tyrone Williams is the only NFL player ever to start on two collegiate national championship teams and a Super Bowl Champion in three consecutive years (Nebraska, 1994, 1995 and Green Bay 1996).
- Other Hurricane All-Americans
- Soccer: Hunter West, 2001, National Soccer Coaches Association of America First Team
- Other Hurricane Ranked Teams
While the Hurricane football teams have grabbed most of the highlights over the past 27 years, other athletic teams have continued the Manatee High's "Tradition of Excellence" in state tournaments:
Boys Weightlifting: In addition to its 1990 class 4A state championship, the 1989 team was state runner-up.
Wrestling: The 1973, 2007 and 2009 teams were state runners-up.
- School District of Manatee County Florida
- Manatee High School Alumni Directory, 1912-1996, 1996, Norfolk: Bernard C. Harris Publishing Company, Inc., pp. iv-v
- School Accountability Report
- White, Dale (11 February 1996). "Redesign Gives Old High School A Newer Look The $18.15 Million Renovation Of Manatee High Includes A Science-Technology Building, New Classrooms And A Gym.(Local/State)". Sarasota Herald Tribune.
- Manatee High School Alumni Directory, 1912-1996, 1996, Norfolk: Bernard C. Harris Publishing Company, Inc., pp. 330-339.
- Lim, Sylvia (27 June 2007). "MHS principal earns promotion". Bradenton Herald.
- Manatee High School website
- MHS Class of 1973 website
- MHS Marching Canes
- Manatee High student e-mail connections